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Suicide, mental health and substance abuse has had an impact on my family, the community of Arctic Bay and Nunavut. To talk about these problems in Nunavut does not make any sense. Back in the traditional days, Inuit did not think about controlling their partners or committing suicide because of the little problems they think they have to overcome to survive. But there are more problems people face in their lives today. The difference between those who need to fight for their lives is a big difference between people who fight to die is huge. I think of a story I heard one time; a person committing suicide and a few hours later, a person fighting for their life – died of cancer.

I think that marijuana’s making all our lives more difficult to rise children, to get jobs, to budget our money and to go to school because its so addicting to those who take it. I myself take drugs, it’s been five years. It has impact my life, my mom, my school, my boyfriend and my sisters. would never want any of my sisters to follow my foot steps, And o make them feel like this. 1 got to be the best role model to them, instead I waste my time thinking about how me and my boyfriend are going to get marijuana to feel stoned. After taking it, It makes both of us feel bad or pissed off cause of the craves we have but don’t need and the money we spend. When I write this down it seems so stupid and realizing that I need to stop and control my life to become healthy,kind, and a believer for the ones 1 love.

These kind of contest could make people understand how much is going on with their lives, even for me; I’ve left my community for the actives like tournaments, Youth Parliament, Northern Youth Abroad and Students On Ice. It made me feel free from the drug I don’t need in my life. Through my eyes, it seemed that we gave up on everything that we valued without a fight.

Nowadays, people get worried, depressed or don’t have the heart to care enough for our people here in Nunavut. Elders and Inuit leaders’ ideas were needed then and now our ideas are needed now (this topic makes me think of Tagok Curley’s quotes). Having knowledge gives power to make rights and change. There are two different ways of life, strong, independent, and proud. That pride must surface again, we must have dreams for the world will not do anything right for you if you don’t have dreams to brighten you’re future.

In a community plagued by alcohol,drugs and suicide. It was easy to believe Inuit were weak. Our leaders weren’t celebrated. our Victories weren’t praised, our losses weren’t explained. Inspired by strong people: we need to sing for our leaders; dance for our accomplishment; take courage from our losses. We learn from all of it, become wiser and gain hope because of it. Only when we understand how much we’ve survived. are we able to find pride in ourselves, our people, and our country. (this topic makes me think of Stacy Aglok MacDonald)

Alcohol is also the big thing that changed our culture, when Inuit are drunk with problems or depression it could become a fight or it could come to suicides for those little things they think they cant handle. When they’re sober they don’t have the courage to say what they need to say to say to make them feel better. Once a someone sober he/she thinks its not safe to let other people know how he/she feels. The person only gets the courage to say what he/she is feeling and thinking when he/she is drunk. Then, in that state, they don’t really say it in the right way but they say it anyway just to let it out. Life is a challenge that will never be understood but we must try.

Next: Thinking of Suicide?